This year has been the slowest and yet, the most dramatic and eventful year in a long time. The pandemic has changed many things — festivals have become forlorn in some parts of the world, travelling has been slow, and international borders for many countries continue to remain shut — just so the world can deal with the pandemic in a faster and more-efficient manner.
In doing its bit to keep its citizens safe, Brazil has now declared that the world-famous samba carnival parade will be postponed. Samba schools that organise the event in Rio de Janeiro, made the announcement on September 24. This is the first time in more than a century that the carnival has been postponed.
According to The National, organisers said the event — previously scheduled to take place in February 2021 — would be postponed, as Brazil is struggling control the coronavirus outbreak.
“It’s not a cancellation, it’s a postponement. We are looking for an alternative solution, something we can do when it’s safe to contribute to the city,” Jorge Castanheira, president of the group that organises the parades — the Independent League of Rio de Janeiro Samba Schools (LIESA) — was quoted as saying.
The samba schools in Rio de Janeiro said the event would probably not take place until a vaccine was found. In fact, the announcement follows a warning in July which had said the festivities in February may not happen without the certainty of a vaccine in place.
Brazil is one of the worst-hit COVID-19 countries in the world, and the carnival — which sees the presence of many people from around the world — may only worsen the situation in the country.
The carnival is celebrated for its colours, the samba dancing and music, the drummers, among other such things. The outlet reports that it can attract a whopping crowd of up to two million people every day, and as such, maintaining a distance and following other safety norms amid the pandemic may be impossible.
The celebration is believed to date back to the 1600s, when it was originally a food festival.